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Friday News Analysis: Rumors Around Juniper’s Security Products

494 Words. Plan about 3 minute(s) to read this.

Juniper whips out knife, slices off security products

Note that this is not official Juniper news from what I can tell. The report comes from the tech equivalent of a gossip rag. Maybe I shouldn’t bring it up. But…it seems all too plausible. Here are several bits from the article I stitched into one large quote.

Months after Juniper Networks confirmed the prioritisation of revenue-generating projects, the firm has quietly dumped several security products, causing upset to some of its nearest and dearest in the channel. A Juniper spokeswoman confirmed to The Channel that it will jettison the FireFly Host, WebApp Secure and DDoS Secure products from 2015, though current customers will continue to receive support. The PR person did not answer why those products are to be shelved, clearly they were not doing the numbers. He added the SRX firewalls are “tough to sell” against Checkpoint and Cisco in the large enterprise where many customers have already invested in those vendors, “and they get roundly beaten on price in the SME space by Fortinet and Sonic Wall”. This all feeds into persistent talk in the industry that Juniper is looking at exiting security, leaving it with service providers and switch customers as their target audience.

Right. So, dumping fringe or niche security products that the sales team couldn’t push out the door is fair enough. Do what you must. But what’s it say about Juniper when a company their size can’t stand behind a product line broad enough to make them a one-stop shop? I am a Juniper SRX customer, and I’ve been looking at vSRX (Firefly Perimeter) seriously as a possible edge router device I’d run on a custom x86 box. “All Junos” is a good operational idea in my setting, but is betting big on SRX a stupid idea at this point? It is if I deploy 500 Firefly Perimeters, and then Juniper pulls the plug entirely on the security portfolio. When whine-tweeting about this issue, I got back many responses from disgruntled people who never made the leap from NetScreen to SRX because of the functionality loss. So, it seems Juniper, in some cases, is not even winning SRX converts with existing Juniper customers.

Just to be clear, this story did not report the demise of Firefly Perimeter or the SRX firewall line. But are they on the chopping block next? My friend and Packet Pushers co-host Greg Ferro thinks not, pointing out that Juniper needs SRX (especially Firefly Perimeter) in the portfolio to keep service providers happy. I’m not so sure. When maximum profit is the most important component of an analysis, then decision makers who don’t understand tech product synergy can do some really silly things.

I know I’m nervous, and have some talking to do with my C-levels about our Juniper relationship. We have a different level of risk to evaluate now as we build our business.

Read the full article (and come to your own conclusions) here.